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The comparative study of Spain and Portugal in the social sciences: Insight from the study of immigration to the Iberia peninsula

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While the term ‘Iberian’, as in Iberian Studies, is far from ambiguous, its use is often short of comprehensive. In the social sciences, and more specifically in the field of migration studies, few students or scholars of the Spanish case are well versed in the realities of Portugal and vice-versa. But as Iberianists, unless we truly study the whole of the Peninsula, we limit the reach of our research and forego the rich insight that comparative work provides, especially in terms of theory building. This article proffers two reasons why the comparative study of the politics of immigration to Spain and Portugal has not been maximized and two reasons why an intensified sense of ‘Iberianism’ would deepen our own understanding of the social realities within the Peninsula and offer our counterparts in other area studies, particularly migration scholars, the tools with which to build on migration theory.
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Keywords: Iberian studies; comparative politics; immigration; research methodology; social science

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Southwestern College

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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